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Recent research has demonstrated that all body fluids assessed contain substantial amounts of vesicles that range in size from 30 to 1000 nm and that are surrounded by phospholipid membranes containing different membrane microdomains such as lipid rafts and caveolae. The most prominent representatives of these so-called extracellular vesicles (EVs) are nanosized exosomes (70-150 nm), which are derivatives of the endosomal system, and microvesicles (100-1000 nm), which are produced by outward budding of the plasma membrane. Nanosized EVs are released by almost all cell types and mediate targeted intercellular communication under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Containing cell-type-specific signatures, EVs have been proposed as biomarkers in a variety of diseases. Furthermore, according to their physical functions, EVs of selected cell types have been used as therapeutic agents in immune therapy, vaccination trials, regenerative medicine, and drug delivery. Undoubtedly, the rapidly emerging field of basic and applied EV research will significantly influence the biomedicinal landscape in the future. In this Perspective, we, a network of European scientists from clinical, academic, and industry settings collaborating through the H2020 European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) program European Network on Microvesicles and Exosomes in Health and Disease (ME-HAD), demonstrate the high potential of nanosized EVs for both diagnostic and therapeutic (i.e., theranostic) areas of nanomedicine.

Original publication

DOI

10.1021/acsnano.5b08015

Type

Journal article

Journal

ACS Nano

Publication Date

26/04/2016

Volume

10

Pages

3886 - 3899